Counterpart Season 2 Episode 8 Review: In from the Cold

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Yanek was right.

Those aren't my words, but those of Howard Alpha from Counterpart Season 2 Episode 8, as he and Howard Prime grow ever more similar while living in each other's shoes.

The Howards journey to narrowing the void between them comes when Clare and Baldwin are feeling similarly with regret for what they've done to their others. 

A Man in Love - Counterpart Season 2 Episode 8

Everybody is dealing with the effects of what they have and haven't done.

There is no doubt that the understanding of two worlds and shining a light onto the alternate path you could have taken changes people.

Yanek was of a mind that the consequences had to be negative and that two sides cannot coexist.

Related: Counterpart Review - Shadow Puppets

As a scientist, Yanek wanted to study the positive and negative effects of actions by people who were the same, but his theory about the coexistence was flawed because his sample group was too small and lacked diversity.

He never gave the idea room to grow or breathe on its own.

He assumed that everyone would react as the group of scientists did and by their very nature, they weren't a group that could be trusted to behave as others would. 

Howard A: I am so tired of always being afraid.
Emily P: This will be over soon. We just need to figure out Mira's next move.
Howard A: No, Yanek was right. I need to do what I should have done at the very beginning. I need to make a deal with Management.

Howard Alpha was certain he couldn't fall out of love with his Emily and that he would never give up on her, but after listening to Yanek (and a near-death experience), Howard is questioning things he wouldn't have before Yanek planted ideas in his head.

On the other hand, Howard Prime has fallen in love with Emily Alpha and she with him, even if events took a rather dire turn after Indigo tried to kill her.


No. I think this is better. I prefer you as you are now.

Emily P

Going Through the Trash - Counterpart Season 2 Episode 8

Emily Alpha has seen a side of Howard Prime that allows her to let him into her world. Howard Alpha lived in fear of everything, but Howard Prime conquered that, and as a result, Emily Alpha doesn't feel she has to protect him from her life any longer.

Seeing the road not traveled and giving himself a chance to slow down a bit and get to know Emily Alpha allowed Howard to become a man with kindness in his face. A face Emily Alpha formerly considered violent.

Related: Counterpart Review - Twin Cities

Yanek wasn't right. All isn't futile. People can change for the better as a result of having known who they could have been. 

Baldwin hadn't stopped thinking of her other, Nadia, either. She turned her back on the life of an assassin and started playing the violin again.

When given the opportunity to be free of Indigo forever, she warned Howard of their impending attack at her own peril.

Deciphering the Cypher - Counterpart Season 2 Episode 8

But Emily Alpha did emulate some of the exact behavior that occurred with early management, too.

Like Yanek, Emily wanted to get to know her daughter to see what could have been.

When the man at the resort was calling Emily Prime Belinda and asking about Mariah, it never crossed my mind that Emily Alpha might have taken Anna.

By showing what went on with Management though, it was almost a foregone conclusion Emily Alpha would seek out her daughter if she knew that she existed. It is part of Yanek's rulebook on how the worlds manifest.

Emily Alpha was searching not only for her daughter but what could have been with Howard, too. She shared with Howard Prime that she used to run from her life to see Anna and the other world.

She wasn't content.

Where Is My Husband? - Counterpart Season 2 Episode 8

But Emily didn't allow that transgression to overtake her life. She managed to return to her place in her world without doing unforgivable damage.

We still don't know what Emily Alpha knew about Indigo or how it landed her on their hit list, but even knowing they existed might have been enough to want her stopped.

Even though Emily Alpha ordered Howard Prime out of her house once she realized he was the wrong man, we don't know if Howard's comeback will be enough to persuade her otherwise.

Related: Counterpart Review - No Strings Attached

Thinking about it though, the two men might have changed to the point that they could reunite with their respective Emilys and find happiness.

Alpha wanted some excitement and less fear in her Howard and Prime wanted some kindness in hers.

Howard Alpha can take care of himself and stand up for what he wants, and Howard Prime isn't afraid to feel. Their meeting was beneficial all around.

Talk Amongst Yourselves - Counterpart Season 2 Episode 8

Clare's experience in the Indigo house left her confused but ready to do the right thing.

She and Peter have an unconventional marriage for sure, but they've learned so much from each other.

Peter can connect with her on a level she's never had before, and even though she hurt him initially, he understands her better than anyone.

Clare's breakdown at the realization she loves a woman who is a monster and Peter's reaction to it was beautifully portrayed. 

Clare: Let me go under, Peter. I don't want to be here anymore.
Peter: I'm not going to do that.
Clare: Well then you're brainwashed, too.

Hearing what Pope and Mira did to her parents flipped a switch in Clare. Much like Baldwin, she isn't interested in hurting the whole world anymore. The assured and accomplished woman wants it all to stop.

You guys were right. Mira wants to take vengeance on our side because of what got done to theirs, and they perfected a flu virus to do it. Mira's cruelty shows as she experimented on people to get it right.

With only two episodes left to go, will taking Clare to Naya be enough to get a handle on what's to come? There is still a lot to do to stop the Indigo group.

It's hard to imagine this isn't a gameplan end the series. We know so much now. What could they do to prolong the story?

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I'd watch a series about two sides forever, and I have faith that the team has a plan in place for wherever they want to go. 

Would you be satisfied with the end of the fighting between the worlds? Or perhaps the flu getting released into our world?

When you watch Counterpart online try to imagine what would come from a third season and if they could surprise us.

In from the Cold Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Counterpart Season 2 Episode 8 Quotes

It's all for the greater good.


Truth doesn't need to be indoctrinated.